It's been snowing hard here, and I know most people were hoping for a snow day. I don't have classes on Thursdays, so it wouldn't have affected me either way. Well, we didn't get a snow day... But we did get class dismissed after 1 PM.
After taking something for the pain (with crackers so I wouldn't make myself ill), using an ice pack behind the knee and doing relaxation exercises while cuddling with Julio, I got up and checked my email.
There was an email from one of the women I work with in the disability services office, telling me that she'd asked maintanance to pay extra attention to the stairs going into my dorm (I almost fell earlier this week because the snow filled the stairs), reminding me that if I felt unsafe I could call security and offering to help if I needed it. That really helps; just having that extra reassurance and offer of help.
I ended up relying on friends to help (the sidewalks are covered in snow and it confused Julio). We had food and coffee for breakfast/lunch, and ordered in for dinner.
Yesterday we all went out to Red Lobster. I have to admit that seafood is somewhat tricky for me to eat. Shrimp is hard for me to get onto a fork, crab and lobster have to get taken out of the shell. I'm not saying it's impossible, I just struggle with it. And I've realized that fish makes me feel very ill (the shelled stuff is fine, but Salmon or Tuna isn't). So I was slightly apprehensive. But with these friends, I really didn't need to worry. I am just part of the group. If I need a braille menu, that's fine (if it wasn't, we'd be having some serious discussions). If I need help figuring out how to eat something (I was a little confused about my pasta dish with shrimp). We shared food and it was no big deal. And there was a Braille menu. And I was just part of the group.
I love it when I am part of a group as Nickie. Not that blind girl, not Nickie who has RSD, not the girl with the dog, just Nickie. And if I need to do things differently, that's okay. I'm an equal person, not the same person, and there is a huge difference.
I can honestly say that my social life is better than it usually is. I am learning lots of, urm, supplemental information. For example, that a virgin marguarita and a virgin bloody Mary are two very different things (no, it wasn't a tragedy waiting to happen). And there's the usual stuff that comes from dorm life and being in a biology of women class. I've been forced to learn things, and ask questions about things that I have been scared of for years. I am so glad I have friends to ask these questions before I ever need to know them, not learn them because something awful happened. In essence, college has not been the danger trap that I feared nearly two years ago, although the stairs and sidewalks could be another story.